Galileo/Shakespeare Lunchtime Reading Group

In honor of the 450th birthday anniversaries of Shakespeare and Galileo this year, the Benjamin Franklin Project at IIT will host four lunchtime discussions about their works, lives, and legacies.

Complimentary lunch will be provided (RSVP appreciated), and the brief recommended readings also can be obtained in advance by emailing Carolyn Purnell at or

All talks will take place from 12:40-1:50 p.m. in Hermann Hall, Armour Conference Room.

October 8, 2014: Adam Gopnik, Moon Man (10 pp.)
Adam Gopnik is a renowned writer especially known for his essays for The New Yorker. This essay gives an introductory look at Galileo’s life and legacy.

October 21, 2014: Dan Falk, “Shakespeare and Galileo” (25 pp.)
Dan Falk is a journalist, author, and broadcaster whose book “The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe” explores the synthesis of history, science, and literature in the works of these two extraordinary men.

October 29, 2014: Galileo, “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany”(20 pp.)
This letter is one of Galileo’s clearest pieces of writing about his views on the relationship between science and religion. Christopher Fletcher, The University of Chicago Department of History, will lead this discussion.

November 4, 2014: David Wootton, “Galileo: Watcher of the Skies” (15 pp.)
David Wootton, a professor of History at the University of York. This piece from his book “Galileo: Watcher of the Skies” will focus on Galileo’s historical legacy.

This reading group leads the the way for a gala conference on Galileo and Shakespeare, to be held on November 13 and 14, 2014, which is open to all members of the public and the IIT community. Gopnik will be the first speaker for the conference. Wootton also will speak at the conference.

For additional information about the reading group or the conference, email Carolyn Purnell at

View the Reading Group flyer (pdf).

The Benjamin Frankin Project is a partner of JMC’s Commercial Republic Initiative, which is made possible through the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation.